Social what?

As I have mentioned before, I was the guy who always got bullied growing up.  Late developing physically making me the “runt” all the time.  Slower, weaker, and less coordinated than my classmates.  “Odd” interests (space, science fiction, science in general).  Oh, and poverty.  Can’t forget poverty.  All of those added up to the “weird kid” that everyone picked on.

Take all that.  Add in a bit of “face blindness” (faces, unless I know them really well, tend to look alike to me; take two faces and let me compare feature by feature and I can differentiate them so long as I have both in front of me, but try to recognize someone, particularly in a crowd?  Not happening).  And even without the weird way my mind can be “wired” and it’s a recipe for never learning to read “social cues.”

I don’t get social cues.  And, as a result, I have major, major social anxiety issues.

So when this picture popped up on my social media feed, I got it, totally:

flirt back.jpg

As what I said above suggests, I have no idea what “flirting” looks like on the receiving end.  Part of that is that, in addition to the above reasons, because I’m a big ugly, relatively “low status” by most markers (neither of remarkable physical attractiveness, nor with any significant wealth, nor fame, nor power/influence) guy so I don’t get flirted with much.  Even if I did I wouldn’t recognize it.  So, maybe I do get flirted with but just don’t recognize it.

If I did recognize it, I have no idea how to flirt back.  So, if someone were to flirt with me, getting no response, they probably wouldn’t do it twice.

And that’s just talking about casual flirtation.  If I wanted to go beyond flirtation to a relationship or even a dalliance?  Troubles just begin there.

What I said up above about not getting social cues?  That applies here.  Even if by some miracle I recognized “flirting”, I have no idea what “signals” suggest that moving beyond casual flirtation would be welcome.

And if, somehow I managed to recognize those signals (perhaps if said signals were applied with a baseball bat–see Neil Gaiman’s bit on “how to seduce a writer”–more on that in a bit), I have no idea how to actually take whatever steps I need to take to move things in that direction. (I don’t know and would be deathly afraid of crossing some line that I don’t get because I. don’t. get. social. cues.)

There’s also a problem with that “signals applied with a baseball bat”.  You see, sometimes in the past young women (this was mostly when I was in school) would do just that.  And in every case but three, they were doing it as part of a “set up” in which I ended up as the butt of some rather cruel joke–making me think I had a chance only to jerk the rug out from under me in a very public and messy fashion, leaving me humiliated.  Each of those three exceptions, well, they turned out badly for other reasons.

Did I mention social anxiety?  That’s a large part of it right there.

When people trying to be helpful say “you just…” every word after “just” turns into the adults talking in the old Peanuts’ cartoons.  “wah wah wah wah wah.” Okay, not that bad.  I mean, the words sound like English but they don’t combine into anything that makes sense to me.

So, yeah, Goku.  I get it.  More than you know, I get it.

 

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5 thoughts on “Social what?”

  1. *giggle* Very fitting, even for original canon for Dragonball. Goku didn’t understand what marriage was when he and Chichi got engaged as children (he thought it was something to eat, thus he made the marriage promise with her, which she took seriously). But when he found out what it really was, he still went ahead and re-proposed and married her.

    All considered though, it’s a bit of a surprise how they ended up with two kids, and it’s really surprising how stable a kid Gohan was.

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  2. While I might not have outright Face Blindness, I *completely* understand it. There are three to four groups of people:

    1. Those I like enough to recognize with ease.
    (2. Those I do not dislike, but see often.)
    3. Assholes
    4. Everyone else.

    Unless you are in #1 or maybe #2, be grateful you are #4, lest you be considered #3.

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  3. Girl flirts, and you look around, waiting for someone to laugh at you? Yep, you ain’t the only one, that’s for sure.

    Regarding not picking up on social cues, I remember right before graduating high school, a cute, rather nerdy girl a year behind me passed me a note saying that she wished we could have known each other better. My reaction was somewhere between Now she tells me! and Did I miss something obvious?

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